Our Bestselling Teas in 2018To get an idea what 2019 might bring we need to look back to 2018.
Here is a list of our customer's favourite teas for last year (ranked by sold units via our website):
1. Assam FTGFOP Panitola (black)
2. Breakfast Special BOP (black)
3. King of Pu Erh
4. Keemun OP Superior (black)
5. Pai Mu Tan (white)
6. Sencha (green)
7. Jasmine Superior (green)
8. Spearmint (herbal)
9. Guangxi Green Snail (green)
10. Darjeeling FTGFOP1 Makaibari (black)
Lapsang Souchong (black)
Earl Grey Blue Flower (black)
Ceylon OP Nuwara Eliya (black)
Rooibos Spicy Orange (herbal)
Mao Feng (green)
It shows the growing appreciation for high-quality products across all tea categories.
This is the most promising trend we have seen in years.
It pays to buy good tea
Ireland always was (and will be) a tea market where convenience dominates over quality.
When the tea is made for social occasions or in work, the quality is often a secondary consideration.
But who says you cannot have a good chat AND an excellent cup of tea?
You can, and people do.
It is like enjoying a pleasant conversation with a friend over a bottle of exceptional wine instead of some cheap plonk.
You Can Drink Health
The awareness of the numerous health benefits of tea has grown steadily over the last years.
There is a difference between a tea bag and orthodox produced tea leaves regarding the potential health effects.
Most active components can be found in the young leaves on the top of the tea bush. Therefore, following the golden rule of tea picking (one bud and the first two leaves) result not only in the best possible flavour but also in the maximum health benefits in each brewed cup (for more on tea and health see here).
Over the last years, we have seen many customers turning to tea for a healthier lifestyle.
This trend will continue in 2019, and we will do our best to point existing and new customers in the right direction.
Superior quality and substantial health benefits go hand in hand.
Not only can you improve your wellbeing by drinking tea, but it is also a delicious and satisfying way to stay in shape.
With functional food, there is always an added component, benefit, nutritional value or particular purpose.
A good example is our range of Wellness teas, each designed to possess a particular health benefit (digestion, reduce blood pressure or cholesterol, stress relief etc.).
We have seen a sharp rise of similar products in recent years, and we are probably just witnessing the beginning of a bigger trend.
Tea is also becoming increasingly popular as a base for (real) iced teas (not the supermarket imposter), tea flavoured vodkas or as part of cocktails and mocktails.
This is a global trend which will become more pronounced in Ireland in 2019.
The matcha craze of previous years has somewhat lost momentum but at a very high level.
It will be still very much in demand for this year for all the right (health) reasons.
With the increasing demand over the last years, prices for leaf teas and some herbs have steadily risen.
The growth is caused by higher demand in the West but also by the increasing spending power in the tea producing countries like India and China.
The changes affected more or less all tea categories but especially Oolong, Pu Erh, Rooibos, Mate and herbal infusions like camomile, peppermint, spearmint and liquorice root (herbs are also vital for many blends).
The good news is that prices in 2019 will largely remain stable.
The return of old Favourites
In 2018 we brought some favourites back into our range of teas, for example, the black Rose Hua Cha (see picture below), the Milk Oolong, Tie Guan Yin, the white Lapsang Pai Mu Tan or the black Butterscotch tea.
We would love to continue this trend in 2019, but we can only act on our customers' suggestions and enquiries.
Let us know which previous teas you would like to see back in stock or which new ones you want us to try for 2019.
As predicted in October 2017 the prices for Darjeeling teas increased considerably in 2018.
Following the loss of the main harvest in 2017 due to politically motivated strikes the market recovered last year.
Quality and quantity are back to top levels, and we don't expect further price hikes in 2019.
Summary of trends for 2019
Demand for excellent quality premium tea is on the rise.
More and more people include good tea in their healthier lifestyle.
The rise of tea as part of functional foods.
Prices will be stable, at least until the end of 2019.
Return of former discontinued high-quality teas by popular demand.
Fully recovered supply of Darjeeling teas with high level but steady prices.
Our Tea trend wish for 2019
A trend we would like to see in the new year is the addition of proper loose leaf teas to menus.
The drink menus in Irelands restaurants, cafes and hotels are marked by the absence of proper teas or the lack of knowledge and brewing methods to serve a true cup of tea.
It is sad and almost comical that in a country with one of the highest tea consumption in the world the majority of restaurants cannot produce an above average cup of tea.
The coffee is good, the steak is excellent, there are even vegetarian options on the menu, but the tea remains squashed into a far corner of the menu if it is mentioned at all.
I don't go to a restaurant to eat food I can cook better at home. I want something special, I want variety, and I don't want the same boring cup of tea I can make all day at home with my eyes closed.